Setting sail from Otaru
The charming port town of Otaru has a notable history, playing an important role in the herring trade during the 19th century, and this is reflected in the stone warehouses alongside the picturesque canal.
Tyuleniy is the Russian word for ‘seal’, and this tiny island, located off the south east coast of Sakhalin in the Sea of Okhotsk, is an important breeding ground for both northern fur seals and Steller sea lions.
Russia: Yankicha Island
Yankicha Island is one of two islets that make up Ushishir Island, and is formed from an extinct volcano. At its centre is a stunning caldera that floods at high tide, along with hot springs and fumaroles, and the island is home to wildlife including Arctic foxes, harbour seals and the rare whiskered auklet.
Russia: Atlasova Island
Atlasova Island is dominated by the Alaid volcano, the tallest in the Kuril Islands, and fringed by black lava beaches where you may spot birds including peregrine falcons, buzzards and tufted ducks. The island was a women’s gulag during the Soviet era, but these days it is uninhabited.
Petropavlovsk is the main city on Russia’s remote Kamchatka peninsula, a hardy place where bleak Soviet tower blocks stand in the shadow of giant volcanoes. It’s a spectacular setting, and the city serves as the main gateway for exploring Kamchatka’s otherworldly landscapes and incredible wildlife.
United States: Attu Island, Kiska Island
United States: Seguam Island
United States: Dutch Harbor
Dutch Harbor is the port that serves the city of Unalaska, and is known for the hardy fishermen who brave the turbulent, icy seas off the Aleutian Islands. Points of interest include the remains of defensive fortifications built during the Second World War and the striking Russian Orthodox church.
United States: Unga Island, Chignik, Aghiyuk Island (Semidi Islands), Larsen Bay (Kodiak Island)
United States: Kodiak
Kodiak is known as Alaska’s ‘Emerald Isle’ thanks to the lush green countryside, a landscape crisscrossed by gushing salmon-filled streams that provides a home to around 3,000 Kodiak bears, the world’s largest. Ships dock in Kodiak city, an important fishing port with a fascinating Russian heritage.
United States: Chiswell Islands
The craggy cliffs and sea caves of the uninhabited Chiswell Islands provide a home for millions of marine birds, including tufted puffins, black-legged kittiwakes and pelagic cormorants, as well as a small rookery of endangered Steller sea lions.
United States: Holgate Glacier
Holgate Glacier is one of the most spectacular sights in Kenai Fjords National Park, a blue-tinged river of ice that crackles and pops as it calves into the waters of Holgate Arm. As you approach you’ll see icebergs floating across the bay, and you may also spot harbour seals hunting for fish.
Arriving in Seward
The tiny city of Seward, home to just 3,000 people, enjoys a spectacular setting on the edge of Resurrection Bay, on Alaska's southern coast. Surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Kenai Fjords National Park, it's a great base for exploring the Harding Ice Field and the stunning scenery of the Kenai Peninsula. It's also a hub for activities including sea kayaking, birding and whale watching, and has a pleasant downtown area with plenty of shops and good quality restaurants. If you have time, the excellent Alaska Sealife Centre is also well worth a visit.
The train journey between Seward and Anchorage is a must.
For once-in-a-lifetime tailor-made itineraries, Mundy Adventures specialises in expedition cruises to some of the most wonderful places on earth; places often only accessible by water.
Your home from home
Thrilling, awe-inspiring and unforgettable – Silver Explorer takes just 144 privileged travellers on genuine adventures to some of the most remote regions of the planet.
What we love
The intimate Silver Explorer gives you a magical home from home as you visit places with no tourism infrastructure whatsoever. Without the ship, you simply wouldn't be able to get there. But as it is, you can travel like an intrepid Explorer, without any compromise on style or comfort.
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Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Otaru
If you’ve always wanted to stay at a ryokan, Ginrinso could be a great choice – expensive, but pretty special.
Take a tour of Otaru
A local tour by ebisuya (rickshaw) is easy paced with a great guide thrown in.
Where to stay in Seward
If you’re here, you’re probably not stopping long. You get a better choice of hotels in nearby Anchorage.
What to do around Seward
Go kayaking if you can – once you are away from the noise of engines and people, the peace is amazing.